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Old 02-04-2013, 01:55 AM   #1
bking0217
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Dec 2012
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I recently bought a 12-pack of Zatarain's root beer extract on Amazon, thanks to a link from a fellow member. The question I had was, has anyone used this stuff as a base to make some really spectacular root beer? I mean like adding other ingredients to make it taste more "craft-like".



 
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:53 PM   #2
fartsnostink
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May 2012
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bump..
i have some of these as well, tried two to a keg, added loranne rootbeer flavour (one and two drams) natural sugar, molases and brown sugar. but i cant say i've had any winners with my son



 
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:04 PM   #3
bking0217
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Thanks for the reply. I just wait until the shipment comes in and see if there's a recipe with the extract. If so, I'll make a batch with their recipe and go from there. Wether in cooking, brewing, or whatever, it's just not in my nature to not screw with the original recipe.

 
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:09 PM   #4
daft
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Jan 2013
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Mine really disappointed me in sodastream mode. A lifetime supply of weak, mediocre flavor. To taste its essence, pour some into a lemon lime soda... blah. Try mixing a good root beer with lemon lime soda and it highlights it rather than weakens it.

Of course you have to shake it a lot to get the sediment off the bottom. I tried adding double chocolate flavor drops, which seemed to help. Vanilla extract didnt help. I think a brown sweetener like amber or dark caro syrup would help... earlier posts said to add treacle or molasses.

Maybe i'm missing something, but why use this stuff if it doesnt do its job and you have to pile in cover up ingredients? I had better luck with the zatrains beans and rice mix that i included with their extract order.

 
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:54 AM   #5
StroudCreek
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Oct 2012
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I just made my 2nd 2.5 gal batch using zatrains I used 2 cups of brown sugar and 3 cups of table sugar, one pack of champagne yest mixed in a half cup of warm water. I also used bottled water and it's freaking great.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:37 AM   #6
daft
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daft View Post
Of course you have to shake it a lot to get the sediment off the bottom.
Darn it, as soon as I throw away a finished bottle, the next cap leaks when I shake no matter how tight. So check before throwing away the old. BTW I only find this flavor good with agave syrup, but that's going painfully up in price.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:01 PM   #7
aruzinsky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daft View Post
To taste its essence, pour some into a lemon lime soda... blah. Try mixing a good root beer with lemon lime soda and it highlights it rather than weakens it.
Of course, "blah" because lime does not belong in root beer. You should add root beer flavoring to cream (vanilla) soda because vanilla belongs in root beer or, at least, it never hurts at that concentration. Walmart's Great Value Cream Soda costs about $0.88 / 2 liter bottle which is cheaper than any soda that you can make from scratch, especially, the diet version.

I have no experience with Zatrians but I notice that a labeled ingredient is spruce oil. Although there is such a thing as spruce beer, many people regard the flavor of spruce as awful.

 
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Old 08-08-2014, 02:38 PM   #8
daft
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aruzinsky View Post
Of course, "blah" because lime does not belong in root beer. You should add root beer flavoring to cream (vanilla) soda because vanilla belongs in root beer or, at least, it never hurts at that concentration.
Thanks for the ideas, but for me sprite etc has near zero actual lime or lemon taste, and comes across mainly as sweet water. Since childhood I have mixed sprite/rootbeer/coke in all proportions at the self serve machines, and found that dilution of rootbeer by sprite lets me unpack rooty flavors that were masking each other and sometimes enjoy it more. Of course that is for low quality commercial stuff, and often with coke.

I have no doubt that cream soda would boost the flavor, but that seems comparable to the expensive agave syrup plus water (mapley mix) that I need to make the root flavor work.

Maybe the problem of my zatarain multipacks is oxidation in some bottles that aren't sealed right. I guess a leaky one should be thrown away. Don't shake the box of all of them like I did. I had noticed that many of the caps have shavings where a screw-on machine seemed to have trouble
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:00 PM   #9
aruzinsky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daft View Post
Thanks for the ideas, but for me sprite etc has near zero actual lime or lemon taste, and comes across mainly as sweet water.
But, it is very unlikely that bking0217 shares that trait with you. Incidentally, Freesca taste like grapefruit which also doesn't belong in root beer. Sometimes, but rarely, relatively small amounts of lemon oil are used in root beer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daft View Post
Since childhood I have mixed sprite/rootbeer/coke in all proportions at the self serve machines, and found that dilution of rootbeer by sprite lets me unpack rooty flavors that were masking each other and sometimes enjoy it more. Of course that is for low quality commercial stuff, and often with coke.
Can you identify, by name, some of the "rooty flavors" that you "unpack" in root beer by adding Sprite?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daft View Post
Maybe the problem of my zatarain multipacks is oxidation in some bottles that aren't sealed right. I guess a leaky one should be thrown away. Don't shake the box of all of them like I did. I had noticed that many of the caps have shavings where a screw-on machine seemed to have trouble
The only common beverage ingredients that I know of that are prone to oxidation are cold pressed citrus oils. When I first open a bottle of a cold pressed citrus oil, I add BHT to prevent oxidation.

 
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:36 PM   #10
daft
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aruzinsky View Post
But, it is very unlikely that bking0217 shares that trait with you. Incidentally, Freesca taste like grapefruit which also doesn't belong in root beer. Sometimes, but rarely, relatively small amounts of lemon oil are used in root beer.



Can you identify, by name, some of the "rooty flavors" that you "unpack" in root beer by adding Sprite?



The only common beverage ingredients that I know of that are prone to oxidation are cold pressed citrus oils. When I first open a bottle of a cold pressed citrus oil, I add BHT to prevent oxidation.
Huh? Bking did not report results, which may have been bad. One thumbs up for Zat in this thread, but another thread which first got some of us started with multipaks from amazon had only a negative report I believe. BTW this is the ONLY affordable extract available to me... nothing is sold locally and anything else has to be expensively airmailed.

Fresca would be a gross combo with extract... disgusting fake sugar and bitter rather than tart fruit. Sprite hardly expresses any lime that would interfere with root beer. Try a glass of 2/3 sprite, one quarter coke, and the remaining sliver commercial rotgut root beer... it tastes mainly like root beer, and good!

Contrast that with putting my zat extract into sprite, water, or weakly sweetened carbed water... YUK/GAG/ghastly. And it gets worse as I get lower in the bottle... I have to open it a zillion times because I only make a half liter at a time with sodastream. If not from oxidation, then any number of decay mechanisms or seperations may be at fault, even tho I refridge it... I am trying to be generous in case it isn't the fault of zat recipe.

If I get the balance just right with enough agave, zat can be very good. But it seems more like a masking process, and the same with commercial rotgut rootbeer. Too much sweetening is needed to hide sins of the extract. Weaken it too much and you taste the sins of carbonized tap water, which is bitter and may also contain undesired gasses. That is why adding sweet tasteless rotgut sprite is helpful to diagnose extract... I can't id the subflavors, but can tell good vs bad elements instead of having them all muddied up in strong flavor and sweetener.


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